Crop & Pest Report


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Increasing Protein in Spring Wheat (07/02/20)

There are a few areas in the state that have received ample rainfall to support an excellent spring wheat crop,

There are a few areas in the state that have received ample rainfall to support an excellent spring wheat crop, and few additional areas where excessive rainfall may have resulted in N loss. It is impossible right now to predict what will happen to protein premiums, or discounts. However, if a grower believes it necessary to increase spring wheat protein, here is the well-researched ‘recipe’ for doing so:

-The application should be made for best effect immediately post-anthesis

-Apply 30 lb N as either 10 gallon 28% (UAN), diluted with 10 gallon water.

 Alternatively, the 30 lb N can be made with a urea solution to deliver 30 lb N- no water is necessary if

 using a straight urea solution.

-Apply in the cool of the day- very early morning until late morning. In the evening after a hot day, the plants may still be recovering from the hot conditions and be more susceptible to burning.

- Apply using flat fan nozzles (not stream-bars).

Expect some burning, but this has been shown to be superficial and has not resulted in yield loss in numerous trials.

There is no experiment support from NDSU studies for the use of low rates of ‘very efficient’ N fertilizers. Experiments using a number of these products show that it still takes 30 lb N from them to achieve similar results as 30 lb N from UAN. A summary of studies at NDSU on immediate post-anthesis N application can be accessed on my webpage at

A white-paper on use of high-efficiency foliar N fertilizer can likewise be accessed on my webpage at


Dave Franzen

Extension Soil Specialist


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